Maine Gov. Paul LePage wants to merge the Maine Turnpike Authority and the Maine Department of Transportation into a single entity. The combination would allow for tolls to be charged for only out-of-state visitors at a single toll booth, he said.
The city of South Perth, Australia, is working with Western Australia's Royal Automobile Club to trial an electric driverless bus that can carry up to 11 passengers for a distance of just under 2 miles. The RAC Intellibus has completed more than 350 trips so far, with 97% of passengers agreeing the technology could be useful.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan met with federal officials this week to outline his transportation priorities, including a superconducting magnetic levitation train system between Washington and Baltimore. Hogan's list of top priorities did not mention the Metro system, the Corridor Cities Transitway for Montgomery County or the Purple Line light-rail project for Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
A $30 million funding round for Autotalks, an Israeli startup developing vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems, included investments from Mitsui Global Investment and the Samsung Catalyst Fund. The US Transportation Department has said that by 2023, all light vehicles sold in the US must have vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
Verizon is adding Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities to its Hum connected-car device, making it more competitive with similar offerings on the market. The premium HumX package costs $15 per month, plus $99 for the hardware, which includes the basic Hum features of maintenance and other alerts.
Chinese auto manufacturer Geely will build electric London taxis in the first all-electric-car factory in England. Geely owns London Taxi and is investing $374 million in the solar-powered plant, which is expected to produce 20,000 zero-emission taxis a year as part of an effort to address London's air pollution problems.
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania are considering a bill to allow testing of self-driving cars that establishes policies as opposed to firm laws to maintain a flexible approach to a rapidly evolving industry. "The goal of policymakers should be to help automakers bring this technology to market as quickly as possible," said Wayne Weikel of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., has introduced legislation that would raise the federal gas tax by no more than 1.5 cents per year. The bill would allow the government to issue $17 billion a year in bonds and put the revenue into the Highway Trust Fund to be used for infrastructure projects.
For the latest news on Mobility on Demand from ITS America and the Federal Transit Administration, please find Mobility Rush Issue 16. Archived issues can be found here. To contribute a news item, please contact Annie Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org.